Friday, October 17, 2014

Nashville, Asheville and the loot

TGIF everyone right?

How about some more trip shop talk

Get your carts ready.
I'm chatty again today.

 From Ohio where we left you last Trevor and I headed to Nashville, TN. I have wanted to discover that town for awhile and let me tell you it was completely NOT what we were expecting. I guess I had a Toronto/Las Vegas thing in my head and it is not like that. It is a very low key place seeming to grow into its name. There are a lot of areas being rebuilt and up and coming. We found the people to be extremely friendly if not a little bit secretive about their town. Every time we asked what there was to do, where should we go etc… we were basically given the run around lol.
The response was always along the lines of there is lots to do but you kind of have to discover it. No kidding it took a day just to find the downtown. I was armed with my tour nashville pinterest posts, the around nashville on design sponge but being Canadian can only check those on my cell phone sparingly without wifi as data is $$$ for cross border plans in the states.

We did not find antiquing in the entire state of Tennesse to be worthwhile for us. Don't get me wrong lots of places to shop, lots of wonderfully merchandised stores just 4 times the price of home. We came home from the entire state of Tennesse with a rooster whirligig and a pair of baby shoes. Not good for loading the truck.

We spent almost an entire day touring around Franklin, TN which is a small tourist town just 25 minutes from Nashville and ate the most delightful sandwich I have ever eaten at Puckett's Grocery. Had I not been so busy stuffing my face, I may have gotten a photo of the inside of this place. It really is a grocery store as well with mismatched tables and chairs and charm. WE loved it. Fried eggs on sandwiches is brilliant!
Sadly one of the stores I wanted to go to The Iron Gate was closed as it was Sunday but thats a chance you take when road tripping.
We did get to go to Scarlett Scales antiques. I have seen their booth many times at the Country Living fairs so was excited to see the physical store. it was gorgeous, well done, reasonably priced with the perfect blend of antique, vintage and new decor.
We hit up a lot of other antique stores/malls as well but none we were particularly jazzed about some down right disappointing but again new area and we were just happy having a good time.

After walking around aimlessly, buying Franklin a toy in Franklin we aptly named Norbert the elephant and eating some frozen yogurt, we scooted down the road to Leiper's Fork which is the town you read about in all the country living/flea market magazines. The few stores there again drop dead gorgeous especially Serenite Maison.
I took a few photos with my phone that don't truly do it justice but you get the idea.

Drop dead gorgeous but again eichy mama on the prices. I did see some of the long coveted ironstone pedestals that are impossible to find but alas at 300 buck a pop they will remain in Tennesse.

We spent the next night hanging out in Nashville, bar hopping and eating together. We had a great night and listened to some great music. We generally skip the karaoke bars as that is neither of our thing but you can definitely see the music draw in the old and new bars down there.

What trip to Nashville for an antique hound would be complete without a stop into the new American Pickers facility. No they weren't there but all their stuff was. It was great to see some of the stuff from the show in place. A lot of Mike's personal collection is on display and the history of the warehouse that they are in is awesome.
I think a lot of people are expecting it to be more of an antique store they can shop in but what you see on tv is not a lie. The items are very one of a kind, command those prices but if there is something unique you are looking for they may just have it.
We personally helped the merchandising department with a few shirts and stickers. I was satisfied.

Next stop North Carolina!

We returned to a town we drove through on our last road trip and decided to spend a bit more time there this visit. Have you ever been to Asheville. Next to Boston it is my favourite town so far. It had the perfect blend of big and small town, foodie and vintage with enough to do for everyone. Lunch idea, The Local Taco. Delicious!

We hit some of the same antique places we had been to last time and a few new ones. Again this area is quite secretive so you really need to lean on people to get information about other shops. We were in one antique mall asking if there are any others and they asked us about antique row, yes we've been there, well there isn't really anywhere else.
5 minutes down the road there were 3 more places equally as large. 
Coming from an area that promotes each other faithfully in the antique business I found the secrecy odd. Around Niagara all the shops carry each others information, send you down the road, they want to keep you around. In the south everyone seems to want you to figure it out yourself even if a few places go out of business along the way.
You really need shoppers determination.

I took some photos in this antique mall/store as it turned out to be pretty great. We were unsure of what to expect as from the outside it looked like an old elementary school but inside it was all vintage goodness.

there was something about this sculpture. although yes creepy, look how nice the birds look on top. eating the baby's brain yes but still it had something about it.

the traditional shop cat on his throne. cute by day yes, hunter by night.

Now we did do a bit more in Asheville and I also had my first experience with FATZ restaurant dinner rolls. You need to keep those things down there as I might gain 100 lbs if they come any closer. But since the next post has not much to do with shopping I thought I would share what came home with us.
Keep in mind if you are emailing me because you love something and must have it, all of this stock saw the show recently so much of it is gone but, you can always ask.

Well if you made it to the end, congratulations because that was a long one.

Have a great weekend everyone.

The Biltmore Estate is up next


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SPRINGFIELD Antique Extravaganza

Otherwise known as the never ending fair. 

So on our list of fairs to get to in the next few years are, the I'm sure to be mind blowing Round Top and hopefully Brimfield next year. Near the top of that list was the Springfield Ohio Antique Extravanganza. It was listed on all of the best shows in the USA list so, instead of travelling to the Country Living fair in Columbus which we had previously been to, and loved we needed somewhere to store shop not just shop shop.

Finally, we share a bit about or recent road trip, which took us to Ohio, Tennessee and North Carolina.

We stayed in Columbus Ohio for the first leg of this trip so that we could haunt one of our favourite restaurants at the Easton Towne Center which feels like its own little world.
We are taco fans, like huge fans so Adobe Gilas was our first stop for dinner and lucky us it was 90's hip hop throwback night, so obviously my voice was hoarse afterwards from singing so much and the cupid shuffle…..

We went to the fair in Springfield on Friday and paid the early admission fee which also could have gotten us in the rest of the weekend and in hindsight for the purposes of store shopping we should probably have stayed in Ohio and cleaned up.

We walked steady for 7 hours, ate our lunch in 5 minutes standing up and only repeated 1 row. We had to buy a second cart to haul all of our goodies, as our usual cart bag combo was not cutting it. You could tell by the things people were buying on Friday that there were a lot of retailers there just quantity wise.

Here is just a small sample when I had my camera out in the vintage marketplace section (which was my favourite, same items as antique area but 1/2 the price)

We will definitely be back.

pristine barkcloth for days.

i loved this sign. cut off a bit by the baby carriage. there was also a huge red piece on the other side of this so red glare like crazy but you get the idea.

and my man in his white hat so i can spot him when his attention is attracted to something, anything really.

I did continue to notice a trend at this fair, that I have been observing when doing so much antiquing/ picking/ fleaing. There is a generation and type of antique dealer that thinks antiques are dead. You can hear them muttering as many, not all, but many people walk past their pristine items lovingly restored. If you are one of those people, stop muttering, you make people nervous. 
By the thousands of people that attend these fairs, I would say not correct however, I think the definition of antiques may be changing a little. I do still believe to be an antique an item needs to be closing in on 100 years old and to be classified as vintage it loosely needs to be in the +25 years range.

The way people use these "antique" items has changed. The new generations want to use their wares. They do not have sitting rooms that you stare at when walking by, and don't walk on the carpet for the perfect vacuum lines. They use their china for everyday tableware. People are ok with the rough and beaten. It gives pieces life and a story. With the resurgence of popular shows like Downton Abbey I have seen people fighting over teacups at auctions but Royal Daulton figurines that hide in cabinets and have been massacred by the shopping channel, can't find a place in a thrift store.
Shows like American Pickers have made everyone think that their piece is worth 5000.00 or that they can beat dealers down on prices and forget the amount of work that goes into the find, the fix, the pricing, the hauling and setting up because picking seems so easy on tv.

As times and tastes changes, so do the items people love and want to spend money on. We (I loosely group myself into this category) as retailers / antique dealers need to watch and be ahead of trends. Holding onto the past  with expensive items not selling and declaring antiques dead seems foolhardy when there are obviously millions of people very much into the genre in way or another. Success of the aforementioned shows proves that. You may not be able to sell your 50 wall clocks you have lovingly restored but, how about the industrial alarm clocks everyone can't seem to get enough of right now.

 Just a tweak for success.

After the show, we dragged our tired feet to the Heart of Ohio Antique centre just down the road. It was huge and majorly NOT our kind of place. Showcases for days and at least 20 staff members walking around in uniforms with keys. If you are looking for something to fulfill a collection, they probably have it but Trevor and I are diggers. It is the hunt of the find that attracts us. Shiny and pristine just makes us irritable. So we left there with a measly bag of christmas balls no one wanted to love and I have a slight obsession with. Good thing Christmas is coming right? There I said it, so sue me!

Fa la la la la la la la la

Have a good day all,


Monday, October 13, 2014

Never too late to learn something making a floral centerpiece

Wow did I fall off the face of the earth last week or what. Totally unintentional I swear. I had my posts all written in my head, photos are done and then the week took off like a case of Red Bull with a coffee hijack. When I finally did have a moment to finish everything and maybe get a post live Friday we had a monster wind storm that took a tree down Wednesday night and we moved dinner to the bbq and played by candlelight on account of no power and therefore no wifi for 6 hours. Could have been worse, it could have been raining too.

So I am completely aware that I have been home for 3 weeks from our roadtrip and even though many of the goods are sold, I haven't shown you where we went or what we bought.
Today will not be that day either lol.

Today, my bloggy friends we will sniff the flowers via scratch and sniff screens. Ha, can you imagine?

Thursday night after a crazy day, I went out to Fenwick to Fleurish Design Studio to participate in a floral centerpiece course. In case you missed it somewhere in this blog, it is no secret that I have a serious love of flowers. Generally all of them right down to weeds. We also did a tour right here on this blog of Jess' studio
When Jess asked if I would like to join this course, it was a no brainer. I have never really worked with oasis and was unsure of the proper ways of using it. I can tie a bouquet and put combinations together but making a low centerpiece was a little out of my ball game.

I thought I would share a bit of what I learned and share some pretty florals of my creations and my "classmates".


you can use pretty well any watertight container for your centerpiece. choose a piece that suits your style and keeping in mind where you will be using it. if you really are placing it in the middle of the table with hopes of seeing your guests over top, keep in mind the height of your vessel.
soak your oasis in water for a few minutes until completely soaked through and then cut with a knife to size and shove into your container. if you plan to have flowers coming out the sides, leave your oasis about an inch above the vessel top.

you can see how the green sticks out the top of this pitcher but will be covered with flowers once complete so won't be visible

if your piece is a little taller or wider than your oasis, you need to use scraps to build it up and/or fill in the sides. if you have to use a lot of smaller pieces, you may want to add a piece of tape across the top to keep everything from walking around once the heavy flowers are added

add more water to make sure there is plenty for the oasis to suck up once flowers are inserted. you will also need to keep your arrangement watered afterwards. you can pretty well use any flowers you choose, keeping in mind varying colours and texture provide interest. if you are using the arrangement as part of a fine dining experience remember heavy smelling flowers like lillies may overpower your dinner.

once you flowers are cut to size on an angle for optimum water uptake you insert into oasis. once inserted a stem cannot be removed or it won't stick. also remember any leafy flowers should not have leaves inserted into oasis. try to use clean leaf free stems.

some of our selection. totally growing fennel next year for arrangements


i was trying to look natural but laughing as jess turned my camera on me

some of the finished beauties. all different vessels. same selection of flowers. all different arrangements reflecting their owners.

the teacher's work. jess's arrangment took her no time at all, and proves to be airy and gorgeous in her vintage milk glass

where did mine end up? when i got home quite late, i wasn't into rearranging our dining room and didn't want Franklin to eat my masterpiece. i had a different idea instead of the water basket or bananas on the head of our african bronze statue. she is now sporting a stunning headdress like king julian in madagascar.

" if he is a king, then where is his crown? I've got a crown, I've got a very nice one, and it's here on my head. ..maurice have I got it on?"

yes i just quoted king julian, it's getting real up in here.
i may have also started watching you tube clips of madagascar once this thought popped in my head.

a little close up of the spoils. get your head out of the gutter.

Now for those of you that are ready to impress everyone with your floral skills, best of luck and don't stab yourself with the knife. Everyone else and all you locals, Jess is planning on holding a Christmas class as well. See you there?

Have a great day and Happy Thanksgiving Canadians.
We are onto turkey 2 today.